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Assessment Essentials
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Table of Contents

List of Exhibits and Figures xiii Foreword xv Jillian Kinzie Preface xix About the Authors xxiii 1. Defining Assessment 1 Some Definitions 1 Pioneering in Assessment 3 Quality Assurance: An International Perspective 7 Assessment Purposes 9 Values and Guiding Principles 11 2. The Essentials of Assessment 15 Planning Effective Assessment 16 Engaging Stakeholders ? Establishing Purpose ? Designing a Thoughtful Approach to Assessment Planning ? Creating a Written Plan ? Timing Assessment Implementing Effective Assessment 22 Providing Leadership ? Selecting or Designing Data Collection Approaches ? Providing Resources ? Educating Faculty and Staff ? Assessing Resources and Processes as Well as Outcomes ? Sharing Findings Improving and Sustaining Assessment 31 Obtaining Credible Evidence ? Ensuring the Use of Assessment Findings ? Reexamining the Assessment Process Additional Thoughts 36 3. Engaging Faculty and Students in Assessment 39 Involving Faculty in Assessment 41 Faculty Responsibility ? Assessment Resources for Faculty ? Faculty Rewards ? Maximizing the Role of Faculty and Faculty Acceptance ? Some Stumbling Blocks in Understanding Assessment ? The Nature of Resistance Involving Students in Assessment 54 Student Responsibility ? Resources for Students ? Student Rewards ? Maximizing Student Acceptance of Assessment Acting with Integrity 63 4. Setting Expectations and Preparing to Select Measures 65 Intentions for Learning: Goals, Objectives, Outcomes 65 Defining Terms ? Learning Taxonomies Developing Statements of Expectations 69 Statement Content ? Curriculum Maps ? Using Matrices and Other Tools Selecting Methods and Approaches 73 Inventories of Existing Activities ? Developing Criteria for Choosing Methods ? An Overview of Methods ? Use of Existing Information ? Locally Developed versus Commercial Measures ? Comparing Potential Methods to Criteria Designing Instruments 85 Recognizing the Uniqueness of Designing Instruments for Assessment ? Enlisting Help from Campus Experts ? Enhancing Instrument Reliability and Validity Determining Approaches for Implementation 87 Research Strategies ? Identifying Eligible Participants ? Sampling and Sample Size Putting Everything Together 91 5. Using Direct Measures 93 Using Classroom Assignments for Outcomes Assessment 93 Performance Assessment 95 Types of Performance Assessment ? Using Performance Measures for Outcomes Assessment ? Designing Effective Assignments Rubrics 100 VALUE Rubrics ? Some Rubric Issues Aggregating Assessment Results in and across Courses 104 Using Objective Tests for Outcomes Assessment 105 Advantages and Disadvantages of Objective Tests ? Developing Good Tests and Writing Good Items ? Implications for Students Electronic Portfolios 110 Using E-Portfolios for Outcomes Assessment ? Choices for E-Portfolios ? Student Reflection ? Scoring ? Resources and Training ? Feedback ? Impact on Students ? Using Results ? Developing E-Portfolios ? Appeal of Portfolios and Some Cautions 6. Using Indirect Assessment Methods 121 Using Surveys in Assessment 121 Topics for Assessment Surveys ? Selecting and Using Various Target Groups ? Response Types and Scales ? Writing Survey Questions ? Questionnaire Administration ? National Surveys for Assessment Using Focus Groups in Assessment 132 Topics, Target Groups, and Participants ? The Moderator?s Role ? Developing Questions and Summarizing Results ? Other Considerations Additional Indirect Methods 136 Interviews ? Written Materials ? Documents and Records Qualitative versus Quantitative Approaches 141 Classroom Assessment Techniques 142 7. Assessing Learning in the Major 145 Capstone Experiences and Courses 146 Capstone Experiences ? Capstone Courses Portfolios 150 Experiential Education 152 Internships ? Service-Learning ? Applied Projects Group Work and Team-Building Skills 160 Employer Involvement 162 Employers as Assessors ? Employers as Advisors ? Employer Surveys Intentional Learning 165 8. Assessing Learning in General Education 167 The Nature of General Education 167 Assessment Choices and Issues 170 Agreeing on Program Purposes and Learning Objectives ? Selecting an Assessment Approach for General Education ? Generating, Reporting, and Using Results Using Commercial Instruments and the Voluntary System of Accountability 175 Assessing Specific Aspects of General Education 178 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving ? Writing ? Information Literacy ? Oral Communication ? Ethical Reasoning ? Values and Attitudes The Degree Qualifications Profile 189 Assessing General Education Outcomes within the Major 190 9. Assessing Student Learning and Program Effectiveness in Student Affairs 193 Foundations for Assessment in Student Affairs 193 Mission, Goals, and Objectives 197 Goals and Objectives ? Mapping Outcomes Leadership and Preparation for Assessment in Student Affairs 199 Committees, Offices, and Assessment Teams ? Resources and Training Assessment Frameworks, Models, and Diagrams 204 Assessment Plans and Methods 205 Planning Templates and Guides ? Methods Reporting and Sharing Results 208 Reporting Templates ? Evaluating Reports ? Communicating Results Ethical Behavior 210 Improving Assessment 212 Rewards for Assessment 212 10. Analyzing, Reporting, and Using Assessment Results 215 Helping Faculty and Staff Use Their Assessment Results 215 Encouraging Reflection and Collaboration ? Providing Mentors ? Sharing Materials ? Communicating about How Assessment Results Have Been Used ? Linking Assessment Results to Important Processes Assessment Reporting by Departments and Programs 221 Outcomes ? Methods ? Findings ? Action Plans ? Follow-Up ? Closing the Loop ? Reflections on the Process Summarizing Reports 225 Managing Data 226 Assessing Unit Reports 226 Making the Process Transparent 228 Institutional Assessment Reporting 229 Theme Reports ? Extracts for Colleges and Departments ? Oral Reports ? Comprehensive Reports ? Institutional Data and Dashboards Analyzing Assessment Information 234 Descriptive and Comparative Information ? Impact of Various Response Scales on Analysis ? Qualitative Analysis ? Multivariate Analysis ? Data Mining and Learning Analytics Displaying Results 239 Other Considerations 240 11. Assessing Institutional Effectiveness 241 Linking Assessment and Institutional Planning: An Example 242 Organizing to Assess Institutional Effectiveness 245 Assessment Leaders ? Assessment Committees ? Leadership in Units ? Central Offices Planning and Institutional Improvement at IUPUI 248 Testing Center ? Office of Institutional Effectiveness ? Office of Institutional Research ? Office of Program Review ? Office of the Economic Model Administering an Assessment Plan 252 Planning Levels ? Using Assessment Information ? Assessing and Facilitating Assessment Considering Costs 258 Linking Assessment to Other Valued Processes 259 12. Summing Up 263 A Time of Transition 263 Current Practice 265 Purposes ? Assessment Approaches ? Stakeholder Involvement ? Technology Continuing Challenges 268 Assessment?s Effect on Individual Students ? Alternative Ways to Credential Students ? Sharing Assessment Information and Results ? Assessment Costs and Benefits ? Finding a Home for Assessment ? Creating a Culture of Assessment References 279 Name Index 311 Subject Index 317

About the Author

TRUDY W. BANTA is a professor of higher education and senior advisor to the chancellor for academic planning and evaluation at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She is the founding editor of Assessment Update, a bimonthly periodical published by Jossey-Bass. CATHERINE A. PALOMBA is director emeritus of assessment and institutional research at Ball State University.

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